Well I am doing much better this week. It has been a very busy but very rewarding week. I have learned that it truly is not about success but is about sacrifice. And when you are sacrificing everything you can, you are so happy and the Holy Ghost is telling you that what you are doing is pleasing to the Lord.
This week, Sister Martinez and I jumped back into the work full force. It has been a focus in the mission to "open your mouth" with as many people as possible. This week, Sister Martinez and I set a goal to share 100 times... something I honestly didn't think was possible before on my mission. We reached our goal and I realized that not only was it possible but it wasn't that difficult. We are going to try and hit even more this week. Again, it's not about the number but just the fact that we are finding more and more souls who are prepared to receive the Restored gospel.
Another thing that I have realized this week is that people won't understand everything.. and they don't have to. I think as a missionary, or even just as a member you come to understand how logical and perfect the gospel is. You understand the doctrines and principles and history and how it is all so perfectly related. You want the person you are teaching to understand everything at once... sometimes I feel like I just want to put my brain in their head. "If only they understood THIS... then they would KNOW." Anyway.... I have come to understand that it really doesn't matter that they understand everything. Of course I know that it is more important how they feel, but I have come to understand this concept even more this week. Especially in our first lessons, we are really trying to find their biggest interest, concern, or question and just try and help them to have a spiritual experience. Help them truly feel the Holy Ghost to motivate them to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. Anyway, it's hard to truly explain everything but our teaching has been NIGHT and DAY different. It is completely by the spirit and has been so powerful.
For example, we contacted a referral this week, Arlene, who was previously taught by the missionaries but she wans't that interested and had no desire to go to church. But our first lesson with her was sooo simple but completely focused on her. The spirit was so strong and afterwards she was excited to come to church. I don't really know how to explain it all but I LOVE teaching and every aspect of missionary work has become more fulfilling as we try and work more by the spirit.
We taught Ryan and Joanne twice this week and they are so converted. Ahhhhh! They really really want to get baptized and married but they went home last week to explain to their parents about it and we find out tonight what happened. I hope that we can help them understand that whatever their parents say or do... they still have their agency to choose the right and follow Jesus Christ. If they can exercise their faith, even if right now it is difficult with their family, in the end it will all be ok. I guess the beautiful lesson made up for the fact that I was freaking out walking to and from their house because the alleyway is CRAWLING WITH COCKROACHES. I'm sorry but I can't handle it and I will never get used to it. My companion also laughed at me as I screamed and ran out of our house when I saw a giant one right above her head. I don't understand how they don't bother her but she is deathly afraid of frogs. Haha...
We also had another miracle with Erika and Randy. RJ Bisaya came and worked with us to teach them and shared a very simple but powerful message about how through small and simple things, great things come to pass. (always better with members) Since then, Randy has gone 4 days without smoking, and they have read and prayed every day. Yesterday, they were at church before us haha.
Wednesday night we had interviews with President Mangum. I thought that I couldn't love anyone more than President Peterson, but I am so happy and grateful that President Mangum is my President. He is a man of understanding and so humble. He knows just what to say and how to say it - it's not all sugar coated but straight to the point. I also didn't think it was possible to be more strict than President Peterson... haha but I was definitely wrong. I think President Mangum is one of the most strict Presidents that are serving now. But honestly I love it. I wouldn't want it any other way. I am starting to understand what it means to completely give up your will for the Lord's. The more obedient and consecrated you come the more the Lord will bless you. It's like the law of gravity. You throw something up and it will always come down. You obey God's commandments and you will always be blessed.
Another miracle happened with Sister Dorina Ting. She owns a shop across the street from our house and was baptized a year ago yesterday. The problem is she started drinking after she got baptized, was ashamed, then got really sick and stopped coming to church. We would always try and set appointments with her and she would avoid it. I was starting to lose hope for her and her kids but earlier this week we went and taught her with the Relief Society President, Nanay Norma. I think she felt obligated to let us in because we were with Norma. But we had a super spiritual lesson and she was at church before us as well on Sunday. Reactivation and retention is just as fulfilling work as teaching investigators. We will keep working with her and trying to retain the fruits.
One funny thing did happen earlier this week as we were talking with some people at a BRGY Hall one of the lady's kept telling me I looked like Barbie and was grabbing my face and squeeling like I was a baby. Sister Martinez couldn't stop laughing because she said she could tell I felt super uncomfortable and had a pretty fake smile on my face. Then she proceeded to call in all these men off the street to come in and meet me and it was sooo awkward. Haha I wish I had a video of the whole situation but we got out of there pretty fast.
|Sister Martinez and Me|
I love Sister Martinez so much. She is so dramatic and funny and always makes me feel better. Lately I have been punishing her (if she deserves it) by tickling her. Hahaha she immediately drops to the ground and begs me to stop. It is so pitiful I have to stop... We have lots of fun cooking together. We eat all sorts of fruits and vegetables - papaya, banana, mangoes, rambutan, lanzones, mangustine, pineapple, cucumbers, carrots, peppers, potatoes, cabbage, other leafy vegetables, squash, green beans, tomatoes, and onions and garlic every single day. I wonder if you will like the food here because they ALWAYS use garlic. I hope you do. I think you will. We have been teaching each other a lot of sayings in English and Tagalog and cultural facts about the different places from which we come.
I will be sad to part from her.
I love it here. I love you all. It won't be long before we skype!! You are all in my prayers.
Love, Sister Rasmussen